Thursday, July 1, 2010

Eggplant: Raw and Cooked

I never liked eggplant before I went to China. Then I learned the joy that is qie zi and I've loved it ever since. If you want an oily splurge, get some eggplant in an Asian restaurant. Or make it yourself. You can stir-fry it, roast it in the oven with some tomatoes, onions, zucchini, and squash, and you can flavor it Asian or European style. You can also cut it into thin strips and use it for Raw dishes like manicotti and ravioli. I made some Raw manicotti in March that had cashew cheese and spinach on the outside, rolled up inside thin, marinated eggplant slices. It was super good.

I finally made the eggplant that I bought last week. I cut it into thin slices on my mandoline and then made half of it into a cooked dish and half into a raw dish. Here are the recipes.

Spicy Italian Eggplant

1/2 eggplant, sliced or cut up however
2 tomatoes, diced
Chili powder
Italian seasoning
Fennel seed

Stir-fry and add seasonings to taste. The fennel seed gives it that Italian sausage flavor.

Raw Eggplant "Bacon"

Eggplant, thinly sliced on mandoline
Apple Cider Vinegar
Chili powder

Mix together all ingredients besides eggplant to make a marinade. Just season everything to taste and add water to thin it out.

Pour marinade over eggplant slices in a bowl, let marinate an hour or more.

Dehydrate at 105 for 10 hours or more, depending on thickness of slices. Mine were pretty thin.

You may have also heard that you should salt your eggplant first, let the salt sink in, rinse, and then marinate. If you want to do that, go for it.

So for today I've been all raw. I've had:
Breakfast: Carrot puree, banana
Lunch: Spinach salad with onions, raw eggplant bacon slices

But I plan on ruining my raw streak and having brussels sprouts for dinner.

I also wanted to really clean out my aluminum water bottle. I put it through the washing machine regularly but had the idea that it wasn't getting totally clean. So:

How to Clean an Aluminum Water Bottle

Put some dry rice in your water bottle. A few tablespoons should do it, but more if you like wasting rice.
Add a good spoonful of baking soda.
Add some hot water.
Put the lid on and shake the crap out of it so the rice can scrape around the insides and the baking soda can clean.
Rinse rinse rinse, let dry.

Ta da!

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